Bach on Fire is fast and fluid in the sound only Lily Afshar can produce. After many years of experimentation, her new album is a bold introduction of innovative guitar arrangements that bring a completely novel approach to J.S. Bach’s compositions. Previously published in Mel Bay’s Essential Bach: Arranged For The Guitar, the new album is a revolutionary take for guitarists around the world.
“…the first decent arrangement of the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria that has ever come my way.”
– Chris Dumigan, Classical Guitar Magazine
“The playing throughout is stylish and secure in this classy inning(s) from Lily Afshar.”
Classical Guitar Magazine
“She has, at every possible opportunity, gone for cross string fingerings. This makes for fascinating playing…the end result is fascinating. It really does give the pieces a new lease of life.”
“…Lily also manages to really capture the warmth and depth of the cello, with very clear lines (so important in Bach), and making the music sound as if the guitar is its natural home.”
Classical Guitar N Stuff
“Afshar radiates calm serenity as she makes her instrument sing like few others on the planet. Bach on Fire will win over even the hardest of skeptics.”
WomenArts Quarterly Journal
“The inspiration for this recording began with my curiosity of Uspensky’s Musical Sketches on Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin,” Afshar says. “The fact that it is based on Pushkin’s novel, and the unique instrumentation for eight musicians – drums, bass, clarinet and strings with guitar – intrigued me. Knowing the story and listening to the programmatic piece clearly explains the character of the hero and heroines created by both Pushkin and Uspensky while blending 19th Century with the 20th.”
To the Uspensky premiere, Afshar added a favorite: the classic “Sonata Concertata, Op. 61” by Niccolo Paganini. Musica da Camera closes with a spirited live recording of “Histoire du Tango” for guitar and violin by Astor Piazzolla, performed with violinist Joy Wiener at the Buckman Performing Arts Center in Memphis.
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“A first class addition to the Afshar catalogue…in terms of quality control, Afshar maintains the highest standards, always generating upmarket fare and often with a sizeable dose of original thought.”
“There are some very virtuosic moments and Afshar handles them with ease and style.”
this is classical guitar
“Lily Afshar’s first chamber music recording was worth the wait…”
One Thousand and One Nights features world premieres of Lily Afshar’s own arrangements of well-known Persian folk ballads and Azerbaijani songs. The CD also features two world premiers by the Italian composer Carlo Domeniconi in a piece called “Nam”, and the Iranian composer Reza Vali* in a piece called “Kord” based on Persian traditional music where she uses fretlets to produce quarter-tones inherent in the scale system. Both pieces are written for Afshar. This is Reza Vali’s second piece written for Ms. Afshar. The first piece “Gozaar” was featured on her CD Hemispheres released on Archer Records.
Moreover, the CD features music by the Venezuelan composer Antonio Lauro and Antonio Carillo as well as the Paraguayan composer Agustin Barrios Mangore.Buy now
Hemispheres is Lily Afshar’s fourth and most ambitious recording to date. In her search for new music, Lily discovered a wonderful array of composers, some of whom have written compositions especially for her. The result is Hemispheres, an intriguing collection of pieces performed by Afshar and written or arranged by international composers including Reza Vali, Ricardo Moyano, Gerard Drozd, Carlo Domeniconi, John Schneider, Leo Brouwer, Garry Eister and Morteza Neydavood. Lily Afshar’s Hemispheres presents a truly original sound (including the incorporation of quarter tones) that promises to be a significant addition to the contemporary classical guitar repertory.
“One of the most sublime solo guitar experiences around.”
“An endlessly rewarding release from one of the 21st century guitar’s most individual and creative figures.”
This 2002 release features premieres by renowned composers Salvador Brotons, Barbara Kolb and Kamran Ince, along with works from five other contemporary masters. Classical Guitar Magazine said, “the virtuosic guitar writing and huge dynamic range reminds us once again that Lily Afshar is a guitarist of the highest order.”
“A guitarist of the highest order.”
“Afshar is a player with astonishing breadth, and her skill makes “Possession” a worthy addition to any CD collection.”
The Hartford Courant
“…Afshar’s performance is stunning; bringing the music to life with captivating emotional breath.”
“…Afshar plays beautifully on this vibrant and adventurous recording made up mostly of contemporary works. Her tone is sonorous, her technique solid, and each of her interpretations of these widely varying works is richly characterized…”
American Record Guide
From never before recorded Persian Ballads to the familiar sounds of Sevilla, Lily Afshar takes you on this virtuosic, worldly, classical guitar journey. This recording includes Afshar’s now legendary interpretation of Koyunbaba for which she composed her own mini-cadenza.
“the most compelling Koyunbaba on disc”
“…Afshar’s affinity for this Suite stands out. She makes the most of its wide range of effects and nuance, expertly exploring Domeniconi’s evocative catalog of tonal color, harmonic texture and modal melody…technical brilliance… exquisitely shaped phrases…”
Based on her recording and research on Goya and Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s 1961 suite, Classical Guitar magazine named Lily Afshar a “world authority” on this neglected work.
“The performance is an unequivocal success. Afshar clearly loves playing this musically and technically difficult work. Her rendition is characterized by an effective use of dynamics and tonal variation, well-defined phrasing and articulation, and a strong technique.” –Guitar Review
“This performance is an unequivocal success.”
“A big-heated player…her attack is crystal-clear, her mind as inventive as Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s”. Add this to your guitar collection at once!”
American Record Guide